When it comes time to sell your home, there are three important reasons for hiring an experienced realtor. This is the first in a series of blog posts sharing my insights about the factors that make for a good realtor:

  • An experienced realtor knows how to properly price a home to sell.
  • An experienced realtor knows how to market a property to a broad audience.
  • An experienced realtor is a strong negotiator and knows how to bring a transaction to a successful close.

In working with clients who are getting ready to list their homes for sale, the process involves many details, large and small. One of the biggest pieces is determining where to set the asking price. To help me advise my clients where to price a subject property, I analyze recent sales of similar properties and look at a number of different factors. These factors include the following:

  1. Lot size and type (flat, open, wooded, etc.), views and proximity to conservation land and water access
  2. Location (neighborhood, privacy, cul-de-sac, busy street)
  3. Condition, particularly infrastructure, systems, kitchens and baths
  4. Size including number of bedrooms, master bath and gross living area
  5. Assessed value

I assign a value on a scale of 1-5 on each of the above criteria and then put those values into a rubric to compare the similar properties side by side. The individual values are then totaled and given a number called “Market Condition”. Total scores are then compared and most often the house is priced to its closest comparable, quantitatively. An example of the method that I used when pricing a property that was recently sold can be seen in the rubric below.

Pricing Rubric

The subject property, 185 Lincoln Road in Lincoln, Massachusetts, is an almost 3,000 square foot Victorian built in 1900, with 9 rooms including 4 bedrooms, 2 and 1/2 bathrooms and is sited on 3 acres of land. There were 6 Lincoln MA homes that most closely matched the subject property and were used in my analysis. The closest comparable property was 28 Weston Road which was listed for sale at $1,195,000 and sold for $1,134,000. For 185 Lincoln Road, I decided on a list price of $1,195,000 and the house sold for $1,200,000.

Although 185 Lincoln Road had a higher rubric score, some might wonder why it wasn’t priced higher. It is because the selling price of 28 Weston Road did not approach its asking price.

Another major factor in guiding my clients through the process of selling their homes involves staging the property and getting it ready for photos and showings. Please check out my blog post, A Guide to Home Staging, for helpful staging tips and advice. You don’t want to miss the dramatic before and after pictures!

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